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TV vs Projector


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#1 of 15 blobula

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Posted March 01 2007 - 12:23 AM

What are your thoughts about going with a projector vs. tv or vise versa.

From trolling these forums and looking at people's setups it seems projectors are the way to go when setting up a dedicated home theatre. I don't know much about projectors at all, so I was just wondering what are the advantages of going with a projector vs. a tv(big screen)? The one thing that jumps out to me is that you can get quite a large screen if you go with a projector and pay way less. Does a projector look just as good as an Lcos, plasma, dlp, or lcd screen? Will a projector give you the seem inputs as a tv?

#2 of 15 Shane Harg

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Posted March 01 2007 - 01:11 AM

Actually all the technologies you mentioned for TV, with the exception of plasma, are all available in a projector. To my eyes, however, LCD has the best image:value ratio for projectors. And YES, a projection setup is the way to go and it looks every bit as good, if not better, than rear projection, flat panel and every other fixed scope television on the market.
It will depend on some factors, however, which makes or breaks the decision between TV and projection for some people:
1. Ability to completely control light in your HT room
2. Your viewing habit ratio (movie:TV:gaming)
3. Your viewing distance (from the screen)
4. Ability to run/hide wires
Probably in that order of importance...

BTW, projectors have all the same inputs as TVs

As a side note, 720p projectors are still the best value. 1080p (e.g. full resolution HD) are still expensive, but the prices are coming down rapidly. I wouldn't buy one, however, until they fully replace 720p projectors, because I don't notice a huge difference between them given the same HD material.
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#3 of 15 blobula

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Posted March 01 2007 - 01:44 AM

Thank for the info!

I was reading a few articles and it seems that the bulb life of a front projector last about one year. I think this all depends on the amount of hours you watch something though.

1. Ability to completely control light in your HT room
(This isn't a problem as the room is located in the basement, and there are two small windows against the far wall that the screen would go against. They can easily be covered up.

2. Your viewing habit ratio (movie:TV:gaming)
I would say movies would be the primary purpose, tv, and gaming.

3. Your viewing distance (from the screen)
Anywhere from 8ft - 12ft

4. Ability to run/hide wires
This would be challenging to hide the wires.

I think #2 is what I'm not sure about. Is it ok to game and watch SD Directv on a front projector? I'm sure it won't look as good as an RPTV probably?

Also, if your running your inputs through a receiver, the inputs on the projector won't matter that much right?

#4 of 15 blobula

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Posted March 01 2007 - 08:19 AM

Out of these three which one would you consider to be the best?

Mitsubishi HD1000U
Panasonic AX-100U
Optoma HD70

The HD1000U and AX-100U seem to be very similar. Seems the reviews tend to favor the Panasonic one. The Optoma is much cheaper than the two above it. There are two other models that are probably more comparable the HD72 and HD73.

#5 of 15 Shane Harg

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Posted March 01 2007 - 08:33 AM

Looks to me like you're a pretty good candidate for a front projection setup. I personally have a 32" TV off to the side that I use for small-time entertainment, such as gaming, regular TV (if I even subscribed), etc. I don't use the projector for anything but movies. In one year, I've amassed a total of 320 hours on my projector and I run it on low power. At that rate, my bulb probably won't need to be replaced for another 4-5 years (bulb should be replaced every 2000 hrs. or so). I'm likely to end up upgrading my projector, first. My point is, that if you do watch a lot of regular television, in addition to movies, you are likely better off taking the money you would spend on a bulb ($200 give or take) and put it toward a smaller direct view television to supplement your entertainment habits, thereby significantly extending projector bulb life. Turning a projector off and on several times a day, also decreases bulb life.

I wouldn't let any of these downsides discourage you from treating yourself to the front projection experience. The impact you get from it (with the help of an equal quality surround system) will allay all fears!Posted Image
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#6 of 15 Jim Mcc

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Posted March 01 2007 - 09:47 AM

I also recommend a projector. I have the Mits. HD1000 and I love it. I just use it for DVD's and HDTV. SD will look BAD on any projector. Out of the 3 you listed, the Mits. is the cheapest(Unless you don't live in the USA). I paid $870 shipped from Projectorpeople.com. With your 12' seating distance, your screen size should be about 100" diagonal.

#7 of 15 Shane Harg

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Posted March 01 2007 - 04:24 PM

Any of the projectors you mentioned above will likely work out fine, with the Mitsubishi and the Optoma giving you best value. I would, however, bring to your attention the compromises that have been made on these models in order to bring them to you at low prices.

First and foremost is placement versatility. Both the Optoma or the Mitsu lack a lens shift feature. This means that if they are placed off axis from mid-screen, you must tilt the machine up or down to match the screen position, which will give your resulting image a "keystone" shape. "No problem!", most will say. "I'll just use digital keystone correction". Well, that's the trade-off. Using this feature, which both projectors have, noticeably degrades picture quality. The Panasonic, on the other hand, has lens shift, which you can use to match the image to the screen with a handy little joystick, after you have placed the projector as close as posible to screen-center, without having to hit your head on the projector, etc. - no compromise in picture quality. Also, the Panasonic has a full 2:1 manual zoom, which makes it more versatile, distance-wise from front to back - i.e. it can throw a 100" diagonal image from just over 9', but can throw the same size image (or larger, of course) from just over 20'.

The other compromise is contrast or black level. The contrast ratio on the Mitsu is spec'd at up to 2500:1, while on the Optoma it is 3000:1. The Panasonic is capable of up to 6000:1, which means the (theoretically) the black levels from the Panasonic will be approximately twice as deep as the other two projectors. I am actually quite surprised at the contrast ratio spec on the Optoma, because it is a DLP, which is supposed to have superior contrast levels.

There are some other compromises, but they are more insignificant.

Another excellent projector to consider is the Sanyo PL-Z5. It is also LCD, but it is always in direct competition with, and always seems to have a slight edge over the Panasonic models.
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#8 of 15 blobula

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Posted March 02 2007 - 04:08 AM

Thanks again for the info Shane.

I was leaning towards the Panasonic, however I will look at the Sanyo as well. Does the Sanyo offer anything that the Panasonic doesn't? I read a review on both and they seem to be so very close. What does the Sanyo offer that might push it ahead of the Panasonic model?

Also, I was looking at the following screen to go with it. The seating distance would be 12ft, however I could go a couple more feet.

Would the following screen be ok?
106" diagonal Criterion Series Projection screen - Brilliant white

Since my room has little to no ambient light I believe the brilliant white would be ok. The other two choices are classic cinema white and high contrast gray.

http://www.carada.co....N-SCREEN-H106C

#9 of 15 Gary Shipley

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Posted March 02 2007 - 04:42 AM

Sanyo has the Z5 which is a very nice projector which I've seen for as little as $1495. It has 2 HDMI inputs as well as component,s-video etc. I believe it is also a long throw projector which means you could place it farther back and still achieve the 106" image rather than to have it overhead your seating area. That would be my pick. I have the Sanyo PLV60 (about 3 yrs old) and although it price alot higher than what the Z5 is, it lacks some of the features the Z5 has. It will more than likely be my replacement for the PLV 60 in the future. Also, I'd like to add, gaming on a 106" screen(thats what I have) is great!! You have'nt gamed until you've gamed like that! Good luck with your choices.
Gary Shipley

#10 of 15 Jason Sweet

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Posted March 02 2007 - 05:58 AM

I have the HD72 and it looks better on my 92" screen than any flat panel or rear projection set I've seen yet. It has DVI and HDMI digital inputs, plus component, S-Video, and composite inputs. It's terrifically bright, with good blacks and great colors. Don't forget the screen is important too when buying a projector, I had a nice 92" Graywolf II that I used for about 6 months that did a fine job, and today I'm expecting delivery on a 106" Da-Lite High Power, which is an awesomely bright and smooth looking screen (about $230). The great thing about a projector over a TV is that if you want to change up your image size of quality you can do it with the right screen for alot less than buying a whole new unit. Good luck!

#11 of 15 Shane Harg

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Posted March 02 2007 - 09:04 AM

If you will be sitting 12' from the screen, the Sanyo Z5 might be the way to go. The main advantage of the Sanyo in all the "shootout" reviews between it and the Panasonic, seems to be that the Sanyo yields a slightly sharper image, while the Panasonic image is a bit softer. It's not significant, but it is said to be noticeable. On the other hand, if you sit less than 10 ft. from the screen with the Sanyo, pixelation may become apparent. As I said, however, that shouldn't be a problem for you, since you will be at 12 ft. or more.

BTW, I personally own the Panasonic AE900 (predecessor to the AX100) and I love it. For my needs, it beat out Sanyo's offering for last year; the Z4.
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#12 of 15 blobula

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Posted March 02 2007 - 09:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Harg
If you will be sitting 12' from the screen, the Sanyo Z5 might be the way to go. The main advantage of the Sanyo in all the "shootout" reviews between it and the Panasonic, seems to be that the Sanyo yields a slightly sharper image, while the Panasonic image is a bit softer. It's not significant, but it is said to be noticeable. On the other hand, if you sit less than 10 ft. from the screen with the Sanyo, pixelation may become apparent. As I said, however, that shouldn't be a problem for you, since you will be at 12 ft. or more.

BTW, I personally own the Panasonic AE900 (predecessor to the AX100) and I love it. For my needs, it beat out Sanyo's offering for last year; the Z4.

Oh the joys of decisions.

I'm sure either one will be great. I've heard the fan noise on the Sanyo is really loud. Is this true?

I'm kinda fretful that with the Sanyo projector you might experience the screen door affect and digital artifacts if I decide to move in closer. However, having a nice sharp image at 12ft is excellent. The Panasonic does have that the "smooth' functionality and it sounds like it will allow more freedom in seating distance. I wish there was a place in Iowa that had these for demo. I'll have to do some checking...

#13 of 15 Shane Harg

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Posted March 02 2007 - 02:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by blobula
Oh the joys of decisions.

I'm sure either one will be great. I've heard the fan noise on the Sanyo is really loud. Is this true?

I'm kinda fretful that with the Sanyo projector you might experience the screen door affect and digital artifacts if I decide to move in closer. However, having a nice sharp image at 12ft is excellent. The Panasonic does have that the "smooth' functionality and it sounds like it will allow more freedom in seating distance. I wish there was a place in Iowa that had these for demo. I'll have to do some checking...

Actually, the Sanyo is quieter at 22db. Panasonic is 25db.

When I said pixelation, perhaps that was a poor choice of words, but it is the word that Projector Central uses when when explaining this phenomenon in the shootout review between these two projectors. What it means is that you can actually start to see the individual pixels at a distance of less than 10 or so feet. My viewing distance is just under 10 ft., which is one of the reasons I chose the prior Panasonic model. In digital artifacts and picture noise, the Sanyo actually as the advantage. Read the aforementioned article here. http://www.projector...100u_plv-z5.htm
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#14 of 15 Eric_L

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Posted March 10 2007 - 02:31 AM

I bought a retractable dalite screen for about $800. After hurricane Charley I was not able to use it for a year. In our rental my wife put up a white bedsheet on the wall. I was AMAZED at the potential ; bed sheets are sound transparent!

If I didn't already have the dalite I would probably build a stretch frame with a high thread count white sheet highly starched and pulled taunt. I'd then place my speakers immediately behind the screen.

At the end of the day I would have spend $250 for a classy looking screen and had a beautiful vidio AND audio image....

#15 of 15 Eric_L

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Posted March 10 2007 - 10:17 AM

Regarding Panny vs Sanyo;

Here is an article I found regarding a comparison between the two;
http://www.projector...100u_plv-z5.htm

I'm also in the market for a projector and considering these two.

The consensus is that the Pany does better in moderate light. Problem is - nobody has defined moderate light . Not knowing that makes it sort of hard to decide. Is moderate light light coming through the door from the next room or is it dimmed lights in the viewing room? Can one read a book by moderate light? Recognize a face across the room in moderate light? The definition of moderate can makes a bid difference in my decision.

I'm projecting a 100" wide screen off center from about 18 feet (high vaulted ceilings - no ceiling mount) The light can be mostly controlled but pitch black is difficult and early evenings we get some light bleed around the windows. Imagine how bright your bedroom is at night if your walk-in closet light is on and the door open. Is that moderate light or less? What projector would do best in that environment?

My former projector was an NEC LT260 with 2100 lumens. It was OK - we could see it with the kitchen lights on - but of course it looked best in pitch black. Thinking about that makes me lean a bit towards towards the Sanyo... We usually had the room near dark... Maybe I've answered my own question...




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